I have been lucky to work with some terrific models for a variety of projects and paintings. Sometimes I have them pose for a few hours while I draw or paint and sometimes I photograph them for future paintings. Either way, planning and communication are key to a successful collaboration with your model.
Ron is a terrific artist's model who has been posing at figure sessions in the Pittsburgh area for a long time. This photo was taken for a step-by-step portrait project for my book, "Watercolor Made Easy: Portraits".
Here are a few dos and don’ts I've come up with for working with a professional model:
- Do have your model sign a Model Agreement. This protects both you and the model by specifying price, usage, copyrights, and more.
- Don't assume you and your model are on the same page. Take time to explain your concept and your goals for your time together. The more you communicate, the better the final results.
- Don't come unprepared. Plan your props, lighting, and location ahead of time. Otherwise you will be paying your model to wait for you to set up.
- Do give your model breaks. If you are sketching your model, make sure to check in every 20 minutes to see if he or she needs a break.
- Do let the model determine what is physically possible. A model may be able to hold a difficult pose long enough for you to take a photo but not long enough for you to create a sketch.
Genevre is another model with whom I've enjoyed working. She is adventurous and fun and will always try to do things creatively.